YA Business Mentorship Network – Fuller Farm Organics

Posted by Melanie Buffel on May 22, 2024

Young Agrarians is celebrating the tenth year of the Business Mentorship Network (BMN) program in BC and the second year of the program in the Prairies! If you are a new farmer or the next generation to take on your family farm and need support to figure out the business aspects of your farm consider applying for the 2024/2025 cohort. The BMN offers business mentorships to a diverse array of new and young farmers/ranchers/producers. Through one-on-one mentorship, peer networks and online workshops new farmers develop the skills necessary to operate ecologically sustainable and financially viable farm businesses.

Apply for the 2024/2025 program here – applications processed in October .

Check out the Business Mentorship Network page for more information!

Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to each of the new farmers in the 2024 cohort to hear about the arc of their farming journey, what their hopes are for the season ahead and what inspired them to reach out for business mentorship. To access more of these stories head over to our blog here.

Meet a Mentee: Christine Fuller at Fuller Farm Organics

My name is Christine Fuller, she/her, I own and operate Fuller Farm Organics in Saanich BC, at Haliburton Community Organic Farm. I’ve been lucky enough to mentor with Robin and Sasha from Seabluff Farm/Saanich Organics.

What inspired you to get into farming?

I started farming because I love to be outside, to grow and eat my own food. There’s a satisfaction that comes from being able to provide substance for you, your family and your larger community. The most important thing for me in the work I  do is to feel like I’m making a difference and contributing to society in a meaningful way. I used to do that through my previous career in mental health and addiction but when that became unsustainable for me, I started to throw myself more and more into my veggie patch, one thing led to the next and now I farm for my community on a one acre plot!

How did you learn how to farm?

Learning to farm has been a slow progression for me, I first learned about growing food in high school when I built a little raised veggie box in the yard of my childhood home. I spent many years after that reading, watching videos and most importantly learning from other amazing growers that I am friends with like Lauren Blackburn who owns and operates Wilderland Botanicals. My more formal learning started when I began operating a greens plot for a farm in Central Saanich, from there I moved onto Saanich Organics managing their seed business, Seeds of the Revolution. Rachel Fisher taught me so so much about farming and growing seed crops. I was also lucky enough to be able to pick the brains of the other amazing farmers there, from the staff of Saanich Organics, to Rebecca of Rebecca’s Garden and Heather Stretch and Robin Tunnicliffe, the other two owners of Saanich Organics.

Once I made the leap to starting my own farm over at Haliburton I’ve been lucky enough to pick the minds of many other amazing fellow farmers such as Shellie MacDonald, Nao Ito, Kevin Allen and Katie Underwood. This winter I attended so many amazing workshops hosted by the South Island Farmers Institute during their Farmer to Farmer week. I am constantly amazed at the openness and willingness to share of this amazing farming community that I have managed to stumble into. I feel very fortunate indeed!  I continue to learn every day through trial and error, podcasts, videos and books and hope to continue to be a lifelong learner!

Tell us a bit about your farm.

My business is a currently a sole proprietorship but I would like to work towards moving it to a corporation in the future. I have a lease agreement for once acre with Haliburton Community Organic Farm. I grow mixed veggies, herbs, and a small offering of flowers and herbs. 

What types of ecological farm practices and/or responses to climate change realities do you engage in?

I am a certified organic farm, I do my best to work with the land and not against it. In the fall I cover crop a large portion of my land to help avoid soil erosion and to build up the soil. I try my best to use practice such as crop rotation and interplanting to help resist disease and pest build up while providing a habitat for pollinators and critters alike.

Why did you apply for business mentorship? What do you hope to work on this year in your mentorship?

I applied for the business mentorship program because I believe that the best way to learn is from those who have been doing the work and building the in roads for the coming generations. There is only so much you can learn from a book. Developing a relationship with someone who is successful in the field allows you to learn the little in’s and outs that you otherwise miss. In this program I wanted to focus on how to make my business sustainable long-term. I wanted to find out how to make my systems more efficient so that I can have a better work life balance and continue to be an organic grower for my community. My primary business goals this season are to expand my CSA and the wholesale portion of my business.

What is the greatest business challenge you face as a new farmer?

The greatest challenge I face as a new farmer are the finances and the work life balance. I love farming and I thoroughly believe in small-scale, sustainable agriculture, it’s my passion, it’s what I go to bed thinking about, it’s what I wake up thinking about. However the amount of time that goes into owning/operating a successful farm and the finances that are derived from it can make it difficult to sustain yourself long term.

What business tools could you not live without?

The main business tool I could not live without is my fellow farmers, weird broken irrigation part you have no idea to source? Need help re-skinning your greenhouse? All your cucumbers suddenly die and you can’t figure out why? There is always a farmer that will help you out and guide you through it! On a more tools based level, I could not live without google docs, I keep all my records there and it makes information sharing super easy.

How can we find out more about you, your farm, and its products?

You can find out more about me and my farm at:


This program is made possible in BC with the generous funding support of Vancity and Endswell Foundation.